Our responsibility

NATAIS PARTNERS UP WITH CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC PRODUCERS IN A CONSTANTLY CHALLENGING AND SUSTAINABLE DYNAMIC. TOGETHER, WE WORK ON DEVELOPING A SPECIFIC AGRONOMIC KNOW-HOW THAT IS AT THE INITIATIVE OF ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRACTICES

Combining agronomic efficiency and environmental protection

This is what both Nataïs and its farmers network strive to do.

our farmers’ partnership

THE IDEA BEHIND NATAÏS WAS ONE OF A REAL ECOSYSTEM, BUILT AROUND A SHARED PASSION FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMING, BY POOLING LOCAL RESOURCES AND TAPPING INTO LOCAL EXPERTISE

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OUR FARMERS’ PARTNERSHIP

Today, this long term partnership brings 200 farmers together – of which 20 are organic – for a total surface of 6000 hectares.

The company has developed a tailored follow up for all farmers, matching their soil and climate conditions. Our agronomic partnership team and its external technical partners regularly meet with every farmer and exchange on improvement techniques, seed selection and growing best practices – especially regarding innovation and sustainability.

Corny facts

Why don’t all corn kernels pop ?

Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that it has a thicker pericarp (hull). The pericarp allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the pericap bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.

Keeping it local

The basis of the business model developed by Nataïs is to rely on local suppliers, drawn from a network of family-run farms, located within a radius of 150 km of the popcorn factory.

Working within the region

THE ADVANTAGE OF THIS APPROACH, OTHER THAN THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF REDUCING TRANSPORT COSTS, IS THAT THE TEMPERATE CLIMATE OF THE GASCONY REGION GUARANTEES THE PRODUCTION OF TOP-QUALITY POPCORN.

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Francis Villemur

C’est en 2016 que nous avons commencé à cultiver le maïs à éclater et à être partenaire de Nataïs.
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Alain Bonnemaison

Régulièrement nous participons aux rencontres organisées par l’entreprise Nataïs
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Y. et X. Lamothe

Nous avons été parmi les premiers agriculteurs à produire du maïs à popcorn dans le département.
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Jacques Labarchede

Agriculteur sur la commune de Mazerolles dans les Landes, aux portes de Mont-de-Marsan.
En savoir plus

Corny facts

Does the popping shape of a kernel depend on its growing method ?

No not at all, it depends on the seed variety. Some varieties pop into a butterfly shape – meaning in all possible directions. The butterfly shape is ideal for powdered seasoning because the contact surface is larger. Other varieties pop into a mushroom shape and are generally used with liquid coatings.

A shared passion for the land

Nataïs and its farming partners were brought together by their common passion for the land. This commitment gets real through their everyday farming routine, impregnated by their search for more sustainable ways.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES

THE COMMUN GOAL FOR BOTH NATAÏS AND ITS FARMERS’ NETWORK IS TO COMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRACTICES WHILE ENSURING ECONOMIC DURABILITY FOR ALL PLAYERS AND TOP QUALITY FOR OUR PRODUCTS.
TOGETHER WE ARE REDEFINING THE AGRICULTURE OF TOMORROW.

Among our most significant sustainable actions : SEED RESEARCH and selection to find the best possible varieties suited to our regional specificities, WATER MANAGEMENT on our crops enabling us to optimize our WATER CONSUMPTION, our natural soil fertilization and conservation against erosion through GREEN TILLAGE or of course our biological pest control used instead of TRADITIONAL INSECTICIDES.

 

seed

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SEED SELECTION & RESEARCH

We are privileged to have maintained a 25 year relationship with Zangger Seeds, a family owned business in the United states which specializes in traditional seed selection. Zangger’s research in seed selection has allowed for the development of seeds optimized for our soil and climate. Over 40 seed varieties are evaluated and observed every year on Nataïs tests plots. The 4 or 5 most promising varieties are then tested by our partner growers in order to determine whether they will be used in future harvests.

 irrigation

MANAGING AND CONSERVING WATER

We’ve set as an objective to reduce our irrigation water consumption by installing a network of electronic probes in our popcorn fields. These probes monitor the plants’ real time needs in water enabling us to optmize our irrigation allocation.

In that same water reduction logic, we encourage our partner farmers to grow early varieties we select, helping to make the most of the abundant spring rainfall

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 fertility

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IMPROVING SOIL FERTILITY AND FIGHTING EROSION

Sun, wind and rain are all vital to the growth of our crops. But they can, in the wrong amounts or in the wrong time, be harmful too.

Nataïs developed the innovative technique Green Tillage, enabling the planting of a cover crop (fava beans) capturing nitrogen in the soil. This system protects the soil from erosion thanks to the residues left on the surface and reduces the need for traditional fertilizer.

corn borer

 

BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL

The european corn borer is just like us ; it loves popcorn !

A noctural moth, the female corn borer lays eggs on the corn stalk at the base of the leaves. The larvae start boring tunnels in the stalks as soon as they hatch, weakening the whole plant.

Nataïs chose a biological solution and uses trichogramma – a kind of tiny wasp – which the farmers release into the fields. Control over this pest is crucial to fight the borer and guarantee a top quality harvested popcorn. This solution is implemented on around 20% of our surfaces with the clear objective of extending this surface every year.

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Corny facts

Popcorn is a healthy snack !

Popcorn is naturally rich in fibers and antioxidants but low in calories and fats. It is even recommended to diabetics because its consumption doesn’t impact the glycemic index that much.